Help Diane Kick Cancer's Butt

“My mom has cancer” is not something we ever thought we would have to say. Nobody should ever have to say this because nobody deserves cancer. On November 16th, 2017, our mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. This horrifying news came as a shock to us because not only is she a non-smoker, but she is an otherwise healthy individual.

Diane is a loving wife, mother of four daughters and grandmother to one grandson.  Her family means everything to her.   In 2009,  she met her true love and they married in February 2013.  Chris is her best friend and has been unconditinally by her side through this journey.  We know that his love and support is helping so much.

When we were younger, our mom wanted to spend as much time with us as possible so she decided to be a stay at home mom.  She often reminds us that she cherished this time and wouldn't have changed it for anything.  She tells us that she is so thankful that she could be a part of every school event, soccer practice, chearleading and gymnastics competition.  She has always been closely involved and continues to encourage us to always do our best and do what makes us happy.

After being a stay at home mom for many years, she pursued a career as a Registered Nurse.  She worked in the emergency department for about eight years, which she absolutely loved.  She often mentioned to us how much she loved being a nurse and taking care of others.  She would tell us that she felt so lucky to have a job that she enjoyed so much because it “didn't feel like work." Our mother loved her job as a nurse and was very passionate about her patients.  She wanted to become more involved in the decisions about their care; therefore, she pursued a Master's degree while continuing to work full time in the emergency room. She received her masters degree in Nursing in August 2016, and began working as a Family Nurse Practitioner in a community health office. She provided primary care to many patients with complex issues and found passion in healing and helping others. Her patients were always on her mind, even on her days off from work.

One short year later, Diane noticed some swelling in her finger tips (clubbing). When this did not resolve, she went to her primary care physician and requested a chest x-ray. Unfortunately, the X-ray revealed a mass in her lower left lung. A CT scan then showed there was also lymph node involvement. Finally, the biopsy brought us the most answers, revealing that she has inoperable, stage 3a adenocarcinoma lung cancer.  The treatment plan includes 30 days of radiation and 2 rounds of aggressive chemotherapy.  This will be followed by bi-weekly infusions of an immunotherapy drug for one year. She is currently receiving chemo and radiation treatments and although she has bad days, she feels she is tolerating them. Our mom has remained extremely positive through this experience and attributes this to all of the love, positive thoughts and prayers she has received from family and friends.  In her words, "the support I have received has turned fear and anger into strength and hope.  I truly believe with my whole heart that cancer will be behind me and my life will be even better than it was before."

Our mother has spent all her savings, retirement fund, and has had to take out several personal loans to get through school. She is currently on short term disability and struggling to get by. Medical bills are piling up and we are doing everything we can to try and make ends meet. We have already had to watch her and our step-father sell things that mean a lot to them (camper, snow mobile, furniture, etc..). We don’t want to see our mother stress over bills anymore, but to solely focus on healing instead.  Our mom has a long road ahead of her but we have no doubt that she will kick cancer's butt!

Please consider donating to help our mom. Even if you are unable to donate, it would be greatly appreciated if you please share this page.

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Organizer and beneficiary

Diane Verstraete 
Farmington, NY
Diane VerStraete 

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